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Behind Green Lights

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Behind Green Lights

Publication date 1946
Publisher Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
Language English


The action begins when a car occupied by the corpse of a sleazy private detective glides down a hill and winds up in front of a police station. (The title of the film stems from the fact that police stations used to have green lights at the entrance.) Currently (2010-02-23) the movie is rated 7.2 at the IMDB!

Some of the stars are William Gargan, Carole Landis, John Ireland, Charles Russell, and Don Beddoe.


Althought this film was already on this site, those who didn't want to download 4 gigabytes had to settle for a low-resolution 269-megabyte file. So I transcoded the 4-gigabyte file with a reasonable bitrate while performing a massive amount of video noise-reduction. In addition, the mpeg2 file has nav-packets and is ready to be loaded into DVDAuthorGUI (a free program) to create a DVD to watch on your television.


Reviewer: tbragg - favoritefavoritefavorite - March 8, 2017
Subject: Fast-paced, likable crime drama
Twisty in the best tradition of mysteries of the era, but also well acted, quickly paced, always interesting.
Reviewer: allan feldberg - - January 22, 2017
Subject: review / opinion on mpg2
statement deleted.
Reviewer: 1oldcodger - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 6, 2015
Subject: This should be an "A" movie.
I love this movie. Plot twists - great acting and photography. Good wholesome non-cursing dialog - and without gore. What more could anyone want?
Reviewer: Kentworth - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 23, 2014
Subject: Good B-movie
Good, not great. A cop story with a few non-comedic Three Stooges scenes mixed in for whatever reason (gurney switch, flower lady here and there, etc.) but a good flick overall.

I give it a solid four, with maybe a plus for the fact that the ending is somewhat unpredictable.
Reviewer: Weehrs - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 22, 2014
Subject: How work gets done
A Great flick on "under your nose" when the truth smacks you in the face be understanding!!
Reviewer: katperrr - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 7, 2014
Subject: Behind Green Lights
Why do they list movies in more than one location. Wrote a review on another page; really enjoyed it. Also enjoy William Gargan on the Barry Craig radio show.
Reviewer: Trublazer - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 5, 2014
Subject: Absolutely Refreshing!
It was great watching this movie on a quiet, relaxing Sunday afternoon. I'd almost forgotten how nice it was to watch something that actually had an unpredictable ending, and was without foul language and bloodshed. There were a couple of camera shots that really spoke to the art in terms of capturing and conveying a message. The scene is early on in the movie when the "new" reporter is being introduced to the police chief. The chief is in the center, and the two reporters on either side, as the camera is aimed between/over their shoulders. Good stuff!
Reviewer: albie - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 13, 2013
Subject: behind green lights
I enjoyed it,William Gargan is known to me as one of OTR greats,also features Charles Russell who originated the role of insurance investigator Johnny Dollar in the CBS Radio series Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar in 1949,

Just found another Gargan gem,British Agent from 1934 where he has the second lead.
Reviewer: ekortright - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 13, 2013
Subject: Good story
I'm not a big fan of cop or B-movies, but this one was pretty interesting.

The acting is good overall, even if rather weak on the part of the female characters.

Even though it's just one hour, the plot was interesting enough that it seemed more like a 90-minute movie.
Reviewer: Zee Zelot - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 7, 2013
Subject: A fun police station
It put a smile on my face, may be yours too.
Reviewer: larry76 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 19, 2012
Subject: Thanks Archive
Another worth watching movie. Thanks for all the donors and
research done by archive,org
I was fortunate to find Internet Archive at the same time I got my
27" iMac. These movies fill the screen , and make my night.
William Gargan was the same as I remember, a very good actor.
Reviews mention John Ireland a lot, but he was just starting , and
only had a small role.
Carol Landis was beautiful. She must have been around 19 or 20.
Keep these coming !!
Reviewer: Karl Bunker - favoritefavoritefavorite - September 1, 2012
Subject: Sweet old no-budget movie!
Ah, for the good old days, when a movie could have next-to-no budget, but they'd still find a decent writer for it. Compare with current times, when a film can have a budget higher than the total GDP of the southern hemisphere, and yet the script will apparently have been written by a twelve-year-old. {cough]Prome[cough]theus[cough]

So... there are some genuinely clever and amusing plot twists in this soft-boiled police melodrama. It's no Citizen Kane or He Walked By Night or The Naked City (etc., etc.), but it's an honest and fun little piece of entertainment.
Reviewer: primsue - favoritefavoritefavorite - August 18, 2012
Subject: Give it a try
I liked this movie. Many reviewers mention John Ireland, but he has a very small part so don't base this movie on him. The story was interesting and had plot twists along with some humor. Carol Landis was rather stiff and also had a small part. I honestly didn't know many of the other actors except to say I have seen some before. I certainly think the movie is worth watching. I am new to downloading movies so a lot of them I watch on the big screen TV and I set the screen at 1/2 size and there is better reception. I love the old cars and buildings, looking at things that were in the world before I was born.
Reviewer: nevillejack - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 26, 2012
Subject: behind green lights
Just right at an hour.held interest all thru.nice to see william gargan(anyone remember him as martin kane in tv series?)nev jack,cru,uk.
Reviewer: I_like_old_movies - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 25, 2012
Subject: Good Little Detective Film
Easy to watch, unassuming detective film about a corpse that literally rolls up to the police station and the detective who tries to unravel the mystery. Good acting all around. I'm constantly amazed at how many good films were made that seem to have little or no remembrance today. This is one of them.
Reviewer: Jazzy792 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 22, 2012
Subject: Great Film...
I'm a cop movie/show fanatic, & this one caught me pretty quickly, esp when I read John Ireland & William Gargan.... :D Good audio quality, film quality was good. I do agree though, the first 20 minutes are a little confusing, but after that, things begin to make sense. Solid acting by William Gargan as a mild mannered cop with a lot of responsibilities, all fighting for his attention at once. Some great comedy scenes too... All in all, well worth watching.
Reviewer: JesusBuddy - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 27, 2011
Subject: Behind Green Lights
Another great movie that should be the watching point for all generations. Truth pays and lying/deception do not. The quicker you join the truth the better for you. Do not ever cooperate with deception and corruption--find a way to expose such evil for the good of all. Do not engage in evil and think that no one sees you. God is always one or more steps ahead of you. ALWAYS!!! Great acting by everyone involved.
Reviewer: Jonnie King - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 2, 2011
Subject: Very Good Film...
Good "Detective" film ! William Gargan, always a solid performer, same with John Ireland.

Once the first 20 min. get past, the movie starts to roll along a lot better. Could use a little editing to make it "tighter", but it's one you should watch if you like 40's detective, twist-plot, black & whites.

Dark film, with that "shot at night" atmosphere that was used in MANY back in the 40's. And, done in a sort of real-time pace.

Watch it, enjoy it !

Jonnie King

PS: No matter WHAT the reason, this movie SHOULD have been re-titled. Many probably dismiss it due to the title alone.
Reviewer: Gregor Mandella - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 27, 2011
Subject: Best Print but there's a problem....
I downloaded the MPEG2 900Mb version of
Behind Green Lights and it is by far the best quality print and sound of any I've seen. There's only one problem with it: The scenes where Janet Bradley goes into to Walter Bard's apartment have been reversed! Somebody re-edited the order of those scenes in the movie.

The opening scene of her going to and in his apartment should actually be the first 2/3 of the scene where she finally tells Lt. Carson what really happened that night in Bard's apartment (after the Police found her finger prints on the highball glass and the gun). That is actually what is shown on an unedited copy of this movie. You can tell it was changed by the sudden white flashes on the screen. Not only that but I've seen other prints of this movie and it shows the scenes in the correct order. Too bad cause this version looks and sounds excellent.

Otherwise, I enjoy this movie. Not a film noir, as others have said, but a fun little police drama that is interesting enough to keep me interested. Fun 1940's Hollywood B picture.

Nice to see Carole Landis and William Gargan together as they both play fairly convincing roles as the head Police officer and the girl he has to try to figure out whether she's a murderer or not.
Reviewer: Aitchondo - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 6, 2011
Subject: Behind Green Lights
Had to be there to understand. John Ireland rules.Great movie for cold winter night.
Reviewer: knittedworldorder - favoritefavoritefavorite - February 5, 2011
Subject: worth watching
Flossie rules! fave line:"He MUST'VE died with some kind of assets in his pants."
John Ireland, even just smoldering on the sidelines, is still great.
Reviewer: fflambeau - favoritefavorite - January 4, 2011
Subject: Entertaining but could have been better
Agree with the comments that this is hardly a film noir even though this movie does have many of the elements of film noir: seamy ethics (especially amongst newspaper publishers, doctors and politicians); blackmail; murder; dark city streets; flashbacks; a police detective weighing whether to make some money through corruption or stay true to his ideals; a corrupt police doctor currying favor with the press; a semi-unethical lawyer, etc. Nice humor with a body in the press closet and a newcomer journalist finding it and trying to protect his story. Good acting by Flossie the Flower Lady and by John Ireland (the head police detective).

One of the faults of this movie is that the director does little to build suspense (and the lackluster music doesn’t help either). He handles humor better than suspense which in a police movie doesn't help the overall picture. Agree with the comments that with a better director and script, this movie had some possibilities. Even so, it’s entertaining.
Reviewer: ADDIE - favoritefavorite - December 27, 2010
Subject: Thank goodness for Gargan and Ireland!
Gargan gives another solid performance and it is good to see John Ireland, anytime, but other that, if this movie had gone on a second longer I might have had to kill myself (I'm kidding, pretty much).

It was slooow and would have benefited from being made 1/2 shorter.

Really, it is still worth a look-see if you like, "B," detective movies.
Reviewer: porterville - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 29, 2010
Subject: William Gargan Excellent in "Behind Green Lights"
William Gargan delivers, in his low key manner, an excellent performance in this police saga covering events over one evening. The supporting cast is generally quite good with Carol Landis in fine form. An interesting story with only minor flaws. It is well worth seeing for those who appreciate "B" or low budget movies.
Reviewer: Moongleam - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 20, 2010
Subject: carjdee
Please rate the movie, not the process of downloading the movie.
Reviewer: katpooh9 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 13, 2009
Subject: Pretty good movie
It held my interest. It had political intrigue. It had a clever escape by an Elks Club member (except I doubt that jail bars are made wide enough for even a skinny man to slip through), and it has some humor.
Reviewer: billbarstad - favoritefavoritefavorite - May 26, 2009
Subject: Worth watching
It's a little too slow and melodramatic for my taste, however there was enough plot to keep me interested. It's fairly well-made too.

I downloaded the 1GB MPEG-2 file. Video is nice and sharp, but shows hashing typical of interlacing. Audio was fine too.
Reviewer: carjdee - favoritefavorite - September 30, 2008
Subject: Download stops
The download of this movie stops at 38 minutes into the story. no amount of coaxing will get it started again.
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